Q & A with Carlton Carter, District 8 Board of Education Candidate

pictureThis is part of a series of interviews with PGCPS Board of Education candidates. Carlton Carter is one of three candidates from District 8 (see district map here) whose names will be on the ballot in the April 26th primary election. Mr. Carter answered questions generated by members of Prince George’s County Advocates for Better Schools. 

Prince George’s County Advocates for Better Schools does not endorse or oppose any candidate for the Board of Education.

Tell us about your background and why you are running for the Board of Education.

Over 25 years of proven education experience as Senior Turnaround Consultant, High School and Middle School Principal; Assistant Principal and Teacher.

I am running for School Board because Prince Georges County is consistently one of the lowest academic performing in the State of Maryland, and they need someone such as me with a proven track record of successfully improving schools.

M.A. Bowie State University: Major: Administration/Supervision

Ed.D NorthCentral University: Major: Educational Leadership B.S.- University of Maryland

Eastern Shore: Major: Technology Education

What are your top three goals for PGCPS, and how do you plan to accomplish them if elected?

Top 3 priorities are the following:

1. Raise the capacity of District, Leaders, Principals, and Teachers to increase academic rigor in all classrooms.

2. Create District wide programs to provide enrichment and Remediation to prepare students for college and careers.

3. Build partnerships with families to boost parental involvement in all schools.

What experience do you have working with parents or parent organizations, and how will you increase parent engagement with the system?

I have extensive experience working with parents. As principal of Ernest Just Middle School, the PTSA and I created a Saturday School focusing on strengthening students’ Math skills. The Saturday School had an enrollment of 500 students and was so popular that other parents from other communities wanted to participate.

In addition, with the assistance of the PTSA, we created “Touch-Base,” in which parents were able to conference with every teacher between the hours of 4:30- 7:30 pm once a quarter after progress reports were issued. Furthermore I arrange a meeting once a month with all PTA Presidents in district 08 to discuss all relevant issues.

Current board policy states that daily recess for elementary school students must be from 15 to 30 minutes long (See Administrative Procedure 6130). Do you support changing the policy so that children get longer recess periods? If so, how would you revise the policy?

I support recess being 30 to 45 minutes in length; however 15 minutes is not enough time. It is important to the development of a child to have exercise as it increases their psychomotor skills and allows blood to flow that also increases their cognitive abilities.

As school board member I would revise the policy by showing the research that shows the value of exercise for elementary students during the day and develop a committee for implementation.

Do you support adding world languages to the elementary school curriculum for all schools? If so, how would you lead this initiative?

Yes I support the initiative to add world languages to the curriculum. Research shows the older we become the more difficult for us to learn new languages. As a practitioner of education I will lead the fight and form a committee to begin the process of implementation in every elementary school.

Test scores show a significant achievement gap between girls and boys in the county. What can be done to boost achievement for boys and to make schools more boy-friendly?

Instruction across the county as whole has to be addressed. Most boys learn best when teachers structure their lessons geared to “Hands-on Learning.” Thus there must be a retooling of District Leaders, Principals and Teachers of how to increase the level of rigor in classroom instruction which will result in closing the achievement gap.

What can the school system do to reduce teacher burnout and keep morale high? How should teachers be evaluated so that we can ensure a high-performing workforce for our schools?

Accountability starts from the “Top.” The school board and Superintendent of Schools controls the climate of the school system as each Principal controls the climate of their schools. The answer to the questions is there must be stronger supportive and competent leadership from the district level to the principal to improve teacher morale. Through my experience, teachers will only do what is expected by the Principal and District leaders. In order to evaluate teachers fairly they should ample support with student behavior, instructional supplies and materials, technology, professional development and help with getting parental support. If these areas are satisfied by the leadership then you will have high performing workforce.

Do you have any additional comments?

I believe I am the only candidate that has the proven track record to bring about change in our school system to “legislate and educate.” For example: Holding Principal Academies on the following:

(1) How to Give Effective Feedback to teachers

(2) How to identify the level of rigor in the classroom

(3) How to strengthen School Leadership Team

(4) How to build effective PLC’s

(5) How to have a safe and orderly environment

(6) How to maximize your Master Schedule

(7) How to strengthen or build an effective PTA

Learn more about Carlton Carter here:

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